Reparative therapy – An Explanation From Wikipedia

29 04 2007

Reparative therapy (also called conversion therapy and reorientation therapy) refers to methods aimed at eliminating same-sex sexual desires. Many techniques have been tried, including behavior modification, aversion therapy, psychoanalysis, prayer, and religious counseling.[1] Reparative therapy is closely associated with the “ex-gay” movement, which is more explicitly religious.[2] Ex-gay groups tend to focus primarily on adopting an “ex-gay identity” and avoiding same-sex sexual activity, and secondarily (or sometimes not at all) on changing the underlying orientation.[3]

The medical and scientific consensus is that reparative therapy is not effective and is potentially harmful.[2][4] No mainstream medical organization endorses reparative therapy and many have expressed concerns over the ethics and assumptions surrounding its practice. The mainstream view is that sexual orientation is unchangeable,[5] and that attempts to do so are often damaging to the person’s well-being,[2][6] and that the reparative therapy and ex-gay movements “create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”[7]

Since the 1990s, the reparative therapy and ex-gay phenomena have appeared in the news with relative frequency. Reparative therapists characterize the movement as offering the possibility of a choice to gay men and women who are discontented with their lifestyle.[8] LGBT rights supporters characterize the phenomenon as “the Christian Right [having] repackage[d] its anti-gay campaign in kinder, gentler terms. Instead of simply denouncing homosexuals as morally and socially corrupt, the Christian Right has now shifted to a strategy of emphasizing… the ex-gay movement. Behind this mask of compassion, however, the goal, remains the same: to roll back legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people…


Homosexuality and The Bible by Bruce L Grieg

29 04 2007

Homosexuality and the Bible
By Bruce L. Gerig

CLICK HERE – A Website well worth visiting !!!

Tyra Banks Explores ExGay Reparative Therapy

29 04 2007

ExGay Survivor Speaks Out

29 04 2007

“They tried to cure me of being gay”

29 04 2007

At 27, Christine Bakke threw herself into “ex-gay” therapy offered by Christian churches. Now she’s coming out as one of the first women willing to discuss these controversial programs—and why they didn’t work. Read Christine’s story and then interact with her in the comments section.
By Stephen Fried

Christine Bakke walks into a church in suburban Denver, a long, low building that used to be a supermarket. It’s closed, but the 35-year-old graphic designer, whose wide smile and quick wit have always opened doors, tells the security guard that she is a former congregant and just wants to see the old place again.

He lets us into the hangar-size sanctuary, and Christine strides up front to a stage, then stops. “This is where it happened,” she says, no longer smiling. “And after it was over, this is where I was on the floor crying.”


Ex Gay History

29 04 2007

“Ex-Gay” History – Article From Website www. In 1973 John Evans, who is gay, and Rev. Kent Philpott, who is heterosexual, co-founded the original “ex-gay” ministry, Love In Action on the outskirts of San Francisco. Philpott soon wrote The Third Sex?, the first ever “ex-gay” book which touted six people who supposedly converted to heterosexuality through prayer.

Although time eventually revealed no one in his book actually had changed, the people reading it had no idea the stories were fallacious. As far as they knew, there was a magical place in California that had figured out the secret for making gays into straights. Inspired by his book, a few enthusiastic individuals spontaneously began their own “ex-gay” ministries.

Evans, however, denounced the program he co-founded after his best friend Jack McIntyre committed suicide in despair over not being able to “change”. Still, Love in Action survived because many people who read The Third Sex? came to California in hopes of changing.

As a result of Philpott’s book, within three years more than a dozen “ex-gay” ministries organically sprung up across America. As these ministries serendipitously became aware of each other, two leading “ex-gay” counselors at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California – Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee – decided to organize a conference where the “ex-gays” could meet each other and network.

In September 1976, Cooper and Bussee’s vision came to fruition as sixty-two “ex-gays” journeyed to Melodyland for the world’s first “ex-gay” conference. The outcome of the retreat was the formation of Exodus International, an umbrella organization for “ex-gay” groups worldwide.

The early Exodus meetings almost disintegrated the group because participants kept sleeping with each other. The group was rocked to its core a few years later when Bussee and Cooper acknowledged that they had not changed and were in love with each other. They soon divorced their wives, moved in together and eventually held a commitment ceremony.

In 1979, Seventh Day Adventist minister Colin Cook founded Homosexuals Anonymous (HA). But Cook’s “ex-gay” empire crumbled a few years later after he was scandalized for having phone sex and giving nude massages to those he was supposedly helping become heterosexual.

As acceptance for homosexuality grew in the late 1970’s, the “ex-gay” ministries had trouble attracting new recruits and growth of these programs stagnated. Then came AIDS. Unscrupulous ministry leaders were able to use the threat of AIDS to scare people into entering “ex-gay” ministries.

However, even as the epidemic spurred new growth, the “ex-gay” ministries remained relatively obscure in mainstream society. This dramatically changed in 1998 when the politically motivated Religious Right jumped on the “ex-gay” bandwagon launching a multi-million dollar newspaper and television ad campaign. They featured groups like Exodus because the traditional fire and brimstone rhetoric of the far right political groups made them seem mean-spirited and intolerant. By embracing the “ex-gays”, hateful men like Revs. D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson could claim they loved homosexuals and were just trying to help them.

But the ad campaign soon backfired after University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was gay. The groups who sponsored the anti-gay ads were held largely responsible for creating a climate where hate crimes, such as the Shepard incident, could flourish. Although these groups denied a connection, because of the negative fallout they postponed their “ex-gay” television ads for several months and the campaign lost steam.

Additionally, several of the “ex-gays” they paraded as proof of “change” were uncovered as frauds. The biggest example was “ex-gay” poster boy John Paulk who the ad campaign sponsors put on the cover of Newsweek with his “ex-lesbian” wife Anne under the large headline, “Gay for Life?” But in September 2000 Paulk was photographed cruising in a Washington, DC gay bar and was suspended as Chairman of Exodus and put on a temporary “hiatus” by Focus on the Family, where he ran their “Love Won Out” program.

The “ex-gay” ministries are still growing today despite their history of scandals and failures. The sad truth is, as long as people are made to hate themselves for being gay, these groups will exist. The best way to counter their negative influence is by highlighting the truth and revealing the failed history that “ex-gay” groups represent. Showing an honest portrayal of gay life also greatly diminishes the effectiveness of these groups. When people learn that God loves them for who they are and that they can be gay and happy, the appeal of these dangerous groups invariably wanes.

Ex Gay Leader Confronted In Gay Bar

29 04 2007

by Joel Lawson
Southern Voice, Thursday, 21 September 2000
Ex-Gay Leader Confronted in Gay Bar

A prominent ex-gay leader once featured as “going straight” on the cover of Newsweek magazine was confronted and photographed by activists Tuesday night patronizing a gay bar in Washington, D.C.

John Paulk, board chair for the umbrella ex-gay group Exodus International, admitted in an interview with Southern Voice that he was in Mr. P’s, a gay bar in Washington’s DuPont Circle neighborhood, but said his only intention was to use the bathroom.

A gay man who works for the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay political group, was at the bar on Tuesday night, recognized Paulk, and immediately called Wayne Besen, HRC’s associate director of communications. Besen, who recently authored an HRC report on the ex-gay movement, rushed over to Mr. P’s, camera in hand, and confronted Paulk.

Paulk is well known not just for the Newsweek cover story on him and his wife Anne, a self-described ex-lesbian, but also dozens of advertisements placed in mainstream newspapers trumpeting “conversion” to heterosexuality through prayer.

Author of “Not Afraid to Change; The Remarkable Story of How One Man Overcame Homosexuality,” Paulk is also on staff with Focus on the Family, where he manages the organization’s Homosexuality and Gender Department.

Daryl Herschaft, an HRC staffer, first spotted Paulk in the bar at approximately 10 p.m. “He walked in and sat at the bar,” Herschaft said. “I recognized him almost immediately, but I wanted to be absolutely sure, so I called Wayne.” Herschaft also called another HRC colleague, Ryan Obermiller, a merchandise assistant for the organization.

While waiting for his colleagues to arrive, Herschaft engaged the man he believed to be Paulk in conversation. According to Herschaft, the bar patron identified himself as “John” and later said he “was from Colorado Springs, Colo.”

“I asked him if he was gay,” Herschaft recalled, “and he said ‘yes.'” Herschaft then asked “John” his last name. “He said his last name was ‘Clint,’ but he wanted to know why I was asking. He became evasive, but he was good at it, he was very calm.”

After the other HRC staffers arrived at the gay bar, they too recognized the man as Paulk.

“I walk in, and right there at the front bar, I see John Paulk, I was floored,” Besen said. Obermiller also said he immediately recognized the man as Paulk.

Paulk acknowledged in an interview with Southern Voice on Wednesday that he was present at Mr. P’s on Tuesday night.

“I was walking around DuPont [Circle], and I needed to use the bathroom, so I walked in, but I did not know Mr. P’s was a gay bar,” Paulk said. “Once I was inside, I thought, ‘Oh, this is a gay bar, and I probably shouldn’t be in here.'”

Mr. P’s is well known to Washingtonians as the city’s longest standing gay bar, operating in the same location since 1976. The bar is located in a block with several establishments offering public restrooms, including two major hotels, a coffee shop, and a number of restaurants.

With its dark exterior, including a small tinted window, Mr. Ps offers a foreboding appearance reminiscent of gay bars of the 1970s, compared to the brightly-lit hotels and restaurants that line P Street.

“I thought I’ll go in and go to the bathroom,” Paulk said. “I wandered back, thinking it was weird to be in a gay bar again. I got a glass of water, sat down and chatted with patrons, including a gentleman who was married.” Paulk said he had not been inside a gay bar since 1987.

Besen said his intention was to confront and photograph Paulk in the gay bar. In his role at HRC, Besen has led the group’s effort to counter the “ex-gay” ministries, which claim the ability to convert gays and lesbians back to heterosexuality. Just last month, Besen personally assisted an ex-gay spokesman in making a public statement that repudiated “ex-gay” ministries.

Paulk said he was in the gay bar “only 20 minutes,” primarily to use a bathroom. Yet Herschaft said Paulk was in the bar “at least 40 minutes” and socialized with a number of men during that time, including “speaking intimately with one man.”

Paulk denied encountering Besen until he exited the bar. Besen disagreed and provided a photo of Paulk inside the gay bar.

In an interview Tuesday night, the bouncer at Mr. P’s, Robert Rosa, confirmed that Paulk encountered Besen inside the bar. Rosa confronted Besen as he attempted to photograph Paulk, enforcing bar policy prohibiting photographs inside the establishment.

Paulk said that after the confrontation with Besen, he exited the establishment out of fear for his life.

“He came to me and said he was being pursued, and asked if there was another exit other than the front door,” said John Mako, owner of Mr. P’s.

Herschaft recalled Paulk as calm until the encounter with Besen. “He was smiling, laughing, and socializing,” Herschaft said. “He offered to buy me a drink.”

“Until I tried to photograph him, I would say he was having a gay old time,” Besen said. “I didn’t know that using the bathroom involved 40 minutes of socializing in a bar and offering drinks to strangers.”

Besen managed to capture one image of Paulk before being evicted by the bar’s bouncer. The image shows Paulk turning away from the camera, as another member of the bar staff attempts to intercept Besen, entering the frame at the right. The second image shows Paulk walking away from Besen, after having exited the establishment.

Besen said he tried to explain to the bar staff why he was taking Paulk’s photo.

“I was yelling to the bar staff, ‘Do you know who this is?'”, said Besen. “The staff ushered me out of the bar. I tried to take another picture, but couldn’t. The staff kept blocking me. Paulk was hunched down while trying to cover his face.”

The bar’s security guard, Robert Rosa, confirmed Besen’s account of the confrontation. “I told him [Besen] he had to leave, that he couldn’t take pictures inside the bar” Rosa said. “But he could wait outside and take pictures of the guy out there.”

Paulk said he was in Washington, DC to attend a meeting, but declined to identify the meeting other than as “a pro-family meeting with conservative representatives.”

Paulk first rose to prominence in 1998 with his appearance on the cover of Newsweek, the release of his book that same year, and in numerous media appearances in which he claimed to be “ex gay.” Paulk’s story was also featured on “Oprah” and CBS’s “60 Minutes,” among other programs.

That same year, Paulk was featured prominently in the debut of an unprecedented national advertising campaign produced by a coalition of conservative religious groups and ex-gay ministries. The full-page ads, which ran in major national newspapers, featured Paulk, other ex-gays, and football player Reggie White, an outspoken critic of homosexuality.

“I want to make it clear that there was no sexual, homosexual intention of any kind,” Paulk said of his experience in Mr. P’s. “That was not my intention. Focus on the Family is supportive of me and I have the support of my wife Anne, who I love very much.”

Paulk’s Exodus International cites about 100 ministries in 35 states, as well as Latin America, the South Pacific and Europe. Two of Exodus’ founders, Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee, left their wives for each other in 1979, and remained together until Cooper died of AIDS several years ago.

Besen said he made an impassioned plea to Paulk in a phone conversation Wednesday afternoon to abandon the ex-gay ministries.

“I asked him to think of the closeted gay kids who have contemplated suicide because of what he does,” Besen said. “I told him the game was up, that they had no credibility left.”